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Think Positively

How changing the way you think about yourself fights performance anxiety

You walk out onto the stage with your pianist. It’s your senior recital and your friends and loved ones are gathered in the hall to cheer you on. You’ve prepared, wood shedded, rehearsed, recorded, studied scores, worked with your teacher and yet…

You hands are sweaty and shaking, you are feeling outside of yourself - unfocused, undone, your breathing is shallow and unsteady. And All The Thoughts are flying through your head.

Most of us would argue that this is not the prime condition in which to bring your art to the world.

You have a beautiful, authentic, meaningful voice that is being inhibited by your mind. Your body is just responding as it believes is necessary.

I’d like to propose a radical thought to you today.

You have control.

You have control over the thoughts that run unabashedly through your practice sessions, your down time, your performances.

You are not a victim to negative thought patterns, no matter how deeply ingrained.

The Effects of Positive Thinking

The secret is that positive thoughts are cultivated. It is a practice that confident people engage in every day until it becomes part of how they naturally process the world around them.

When you value your thought life in proportion to your practice life, you will find that:

  • You are able to identify and celebrate your successes.

  • You become more willing to take artistic risks because you have a reservoir of confidence from which to draw.

  • You trust your preparation, your voice and your value no matter whether you are in your process of becoming a musician.

  • You offer yourself grace when you fail and then create a strategy to solve the problem.

I encourage you to develop a grounding practice that you work through every day. Something that brings you closer to your truest, most authentic self. Something that, when implemented consistently over time (yup, just like scales) will reap immeasurable rewards.

You will learn to take your negative thoughts captive, learn from them, and rewrite them into thoughts that serve your highest, most imaginative self.

Next Steps and Additional Resources

Here at The Musician's Mindset we have some incredible resources for developing and implementing mindset practices that will transform how you perform on stage.

  1. First, check out our Personalized Mindset Tools Quiz to discover the mindset strategies perfect for YOU!

  2. Join the waiting list for my FREE mini-course, How to Stimulate Your Vagus Nerve and Calm the Heck Down.

Katie Frisco

Katie is dedicated to helping musicians overcome stage fright and believe in their own unique artistic voice. She believes live classical music is a powerful antidote for the division, pain, and loneliness pervasive in the culture and strives to support all artists to confidently share their work with the world. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, three kiddos, a dog, a snake, and a goldfish named Orca.


Katie Frisco
Katie Frisco
Feb 05, 2021

Right?! I think that there should be courses right alongside entrepreneurship that equip musicians to emotionally thrive in this field.


Joel Luks
Joel Luks
Feb 03, 2021

This pretty much describes what happened to me every time I hit the stage. It's baffling that this wasn't a subject of study as emerging musicians. Beautifully written.

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